We believe that what we possess we don't ultimately own. God is merely entrusting it to us. And one of the conditions of that trust is that we share what we have with those who have less. So if you don't give to people in need you can hardly call yourself a Jew. Even the most unbelieving Jew knows that.
Which European leader today would not relish the wonder-working powers of a Moses? Budget deficit? Unpopular cuts? How about just a little miracle an overnight increase in gold reserves a new oil field or the next world-changing communications technology? Surely that's not too much to ask.
Stabilizing the euro is one thing healing the culture that surrounds it is another. A world in which material values are everything and spiritual values nothing is neither a stable state nor a good society. The time has come for us to recover the Judeo-Christian ethic of human dignity in the image of God.
If you want a free society teach your children what oppression tastes like. Tell them how many miracles it takes to get from here to there. Above all encourage them to ask questions. Teach them to think for themselves.
Since Hiroshima and the Holocaust science no longer holds its pristine place as the highest moral authority. Instead that role is taken by human rights. It follows that any assault on Jewish life - on Jews or Judaism or the Jewish state - must be cast in the language of human rights.
In the post-enlightenment Europe of the 19th century the highest authority was no longer the Church. Instead it was science. Thus was born racial anti-Semitism based on two disciplines regarded as science in their day - the 'scientific study of race' and the Social Darwinism of Herbert Spencer and Ernst Haeckel.
Science will explain how but not why. It talks about what is not what ought to be. Science is descriptive not prescriptive it can tell us about causes but it cannot tell us about purposes. Indeed science disavows purposes.
Religion creates community community creates altruism and altruism turns us away from self and towards the common good... There is something about the tenor of relationships within a religious community that makes it the best tutorial in citizenship and good neighborliness.
If we are to negotiate the coming years safely we may need a new kind of leadership. To put it more precisely we need the rediscovery of an ancient kind of leadership that has rarely been given the prominence it deserves. I mean the leader as teacher.
Jews read the books of Moses not just as history but as divine command. The question to which they are an answer is not 'What happened?' but rather 'How then shall I live?' And it's only with the exodus that the life of the commands really begins.
Frequent worshippers are also significantly more active citizens. They are more likely to belong to community organizations especially those concerned with young people health arts and leisure neighborhood and civic groups and professional associations.